Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in MCE
MCE Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
MCE is an inclusive community committed to bringing out the best in one another, providing equitable treatment and support to each member, and celebrating our common pursuit of scholarship as enhanced through our individual differences. We welcome and respect all members regardless of their role at Caltech or their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical ability, health status, religion, socioeconomic status, or political views.
The SEED in MCE Task force was established on July 2, 2020 by Professor José Andrade, with the charge reported in Appendix IV. The focus of the committee’s charge was to suggest an actionable plan, to be rolled out in the next 5-10 years, starting in Fall 2020, to expand our student body diversity and inclusion, focusing on the graduate students cohort.
The committee has met 6 times since charged. Initially, the committee focused on identifying areas of needs in the department and sought input from all members of the department. We were guided in part by recommendations from the Black Scientists and Engineers of Caltech in their institute-level call to action. A survey was sent out to students, post docs, faculty and staff to collect input (Appendix V). Responders utilized an online anonymized platform and/or sent suggestions via email.
The committee also organized a dedicated meeting with Hanna Song and Monique Thomas, from the Center for Inclusion and Diversity, to learn about existing programs and initiatives on campus and to discuss possible ideas to implement in MCE to improve its diversity, focusing specifically on the graduate student cohort.
- Report of the Task Force on “Sustainable Strategy for Enhancing Existing Diversity (SEED) in MCE" (pdf) 9/1/2020
SEED Committee Members
The Mechanical and Civil Engineering Department (MCE) is dedicated to cultivating a community that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive (DEI). To advance our DEI goals, it is imperative that we develop an understanding of the current perspectives and experiences within our community. The Climate Committee was tasked with reporting on the current climate of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community/our department and providing recommendations on how to make sustainable improvements.
MCE Climate Committee Members
Melany Hunt, Faculty
Lynn Seymour, Staff
Hanna Song, Senior Director for Inclusion & Diversity
Carlos Portela, Postdoc
Alex Choi, Graduate Student
Leah Ginsberg, Graduate Student
Marcus Lee, Graduate Student
Victoria (Tori) Lee, Graduate Student
Women in MCE
Women in MCE (WMCE) is a graduate student-led program open to all women faculty, staff, postdocs, and graduate students in MCE. Our main goals are: Build a community for women in MCE to connect, network, and increase the opportunities for younger members of the community to access the mentoring and support of senior members; Create a safe environment in which members of this group can explore and discuss relevant issues surrounding diversity and inclusion (and specifically women in STEM); Provide outreach and education events to the larger community outside of women in MCE.
( Emily de Jong, Holly Golcher, Tracy Lu, Victoria (Tori) Lee )
The goal of FUTURE Ignited is to diversify STEM with students of color who will go on to become incredible graduate students and scientific leaders in their respective fields.
Title IX Efforts
The Equity and Title IX Office offers training on bystander intervention and promoting healthy lab dynamics. In this training, the Equity and Title IX Office primarily works to identify problematic situations that may come up, i.e. an inappropriate joke, and how members of the lab can respond in a constructive way to ensure the culture of the lab remains inclusive and supportive. Individual research group trainings are currently taking place over Zoom. To set up a training for your research group please contact the MCE Diversity Liaison.
Skills Based Workshop (pdf)
MCE Diversity Seminars
Reconciling our Biases with our Values
Date: January 11, 2021, 4:00 PM
Location: Online Event
Speaker: Dr. Hanna Song, Senior Director for Inclusion & Diversity
Beyond Diversity: Developing Inclusion Skills to Optimize Outcomes
Date: May 11, 2020, 2:00 PM
Location: Online Event
Speaker: Sumun L. Pendakur, Ed.D., Chief Learning Officer and Director,
USC Equity Institutes, USC Race and Equity Center, University of Southern California
Society of Professional Students (SOPS)
The Society of Professional Students (SOPS) is a student-run organization for members and affiliates of Caltech's Mechanical and Civil Engineering Department. SOPS welcomes all graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and staff in MCE or in the research groups of MCE faculty.
SOPS Diversity Handout (pdf)
Database of DEI Resources
Meet the MCE Diversity Liaison